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Real world learning in action

Date: 12/11/2012

Business studies undergraduate and MBA students at Alvernia University answered the call to help Hay Creek Valley Historical Association with a new marketing and branding strategy this semester.

Since early September, students in Professor Sam Bradley's "Marketing Research Seminar" classes (BUS 444 and MBA 570), which incorporate hands on, real world experiences as part of the curriculum, worked to help the Hay Creek Valley Historical Association develop a new approach to marketing initiatives. The groups presented final recommendations to a team of the organization's board members during a formal event on campus in December. 

"This has been a semester-long service learning project for which the students worked closely with a non-profit organization," explains Dr. Bradley. "They have offered marketing recommendations regarding branding and marketing strategies, as well as providing marketing support including demographic profiles, competitive analysis as well as marketing mix plans to increase revenue at their festivals." 

Speaking for the Hay Creek leadership team and board of directors after the presentation, Joanna Furnace Education Coordinator Ron Schlegel said, "the sophistication and specific elements of each of the student proposals is already helping us to clarify our thinking and move our identity and marketing forward. What we needed was an outside perspective and that is exactly what students presented to us. The early discussions and final proposals were just the thing to get our thinking moving again."

"When I first approached the university last summer, I had no idea that we would be provided with such hospitality, in-depth involvement and be the recipients of such instrumental assistance," said Schlegel. The organization plans to develop a new action plan to build on what was discussed and presented by Alvernia's students. 

>> Find out more about Alvernia's business programs.

  • History: Established as a private four-year liberal arts college in 1958, Alvernia celebrated its 50th year by being awarded university status in 2008.
  • Heritage: Founded by the Bernardine Sisters, a Catholic religious order, the university embraces the Franciscan core values of service, humility, collegiality, contemplation and peacemaking.
  • Motto: “To Learn, To Love, To Serve”
  • Campus: The main campus in Reading is 121 acres, with two satellite campuses in Philadelphia and Pottsville (Schuylkill County).
  • Location: Our residential campus is situated three miles from center-city Reading, in the scenic Blue Mountain area of Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Enrollment: 3,000 students attend Alvernia including 1,500 traditional undergraduates, 600 continuing education students, and 780 graduate students. Over 77% of first-year students live on campus.
  • Faculty: Our professors are accomplished scholars, experts in their fields, and supportive mentors. The student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. Most classes are 20 students or fewer.
  • Athletics: NCAA Division III, member of the Commonwealth Conference of the Middle Atlantic States Athletic Corporation and member of Eastern College Athletic Conference, 8 men’s and 10 women’s intercollegiate sports.